Choosing a Carriage House Garage Door

Did you know there are more than 70 million single-family garage doors in the United States today? That’s a lot of doors!

Garage doors are designed to last a long time. Many homeowners have never needed to purchase one, so when it becomes clear their old one won’t cut it anymore, it leaves them wondering where to begin.

When it comes time to select a new garage door, there’s a lot to consider — design, cost, finishes and more. There are many choices on the market today, but one of the most popular garage door styles is the carriage house garage door. Carriage-style garage doors are an easy way to add elegance and visual appeal to just about any home. They also come in a variety of styles, colors and materials, making them an excellent option for just about any budget. It’s no wonder they are so popular with homeowners.

At RCS Garage Doors, we think you can’t go wrong with the carriage style. They feature unmatched functionality and beauty, and we’ve seen firsthand how they can transform a home’s exterior. Because of this, we are proud to offer a wide selection of Clopay carriage house garage doors.

While we think bigger is better when it comes to selection, we know it can easily become overwhelming to our customers. If you’re in the market for a new garage door, but you aren’t sure where to start, let us introduce you to a door we love.

What Is a Carriage-Style Garage Door?

The design of carriage-style doors pays homage to the carriage houses of old — the buildings used to house carriages, horses and, in many cases, the servants who drove them. When cars replaced horse-drawn carriages, there was no longer a need for these buildings. While most families don’t have a carriage house on their property today, the traditional architectural details of these unique buildings have made a comeback in home design, particularly in garage doors.

You can identify carriage house garage doors by looking for several unique features, primarily their barn-like design and their distinctive hardware. Barn design can mean a variety of things, but in general, you’ll find they have a natural wood finish or perhaps crossbuck panels that make the doors look like ones you’d find on a horse stable. They may have windows that allow extra light into the garage. Carriage-house garage doors also tend to have decorative hardware, including handles — which may be exclusively decorative — in the middle of the door.

Swing-out doors are another distinctive feature of carriage houses from the past. What is the swing-out door? It’s a door that opens by pulling out rather than up, as today’s doors do. At the time people used these doors daily, the handles and hinges incorporated into the door had a purely functional purpose — the person responsible for maintaining the carriages would have to pull them out to access the space inside.

Today’s carriage-style garage doors maintain the look of these older doors — often including the hardware. However, they open upward with the help of a garage door opener, just as any other traditional garage door would.

What Options Does RCS Garage Doors Offer?

So what makes a carriage house door such an outstanding option for a garage door replacement?

Carriage-style garage doors are on-trend. They are beautiful, and they complement homes designed in many different architectural themes. Because of their popularity and versatility, these doors add instant curb appeal to just about any home. While we hope you’ll spend years in your home enjoying your beautiful garage door, we realize there may come a time when you need to sell your house. How your house looks from the outside plays a significant role in selling it. While a beautiful garage door isn’t the only factor people consider when they’re buying a home, it will go a long way in convincing a potential buyer to take a closer look.

Besides being a sought-after design feature, carriage-style garage doors can also be a practical choice. Why? We mentioned it earlier — these doors look fancy, but they operate just like any other overhead garage door. When you purchase a carriage-style door, you get one that’s enjoyable to look at, but still designed to hold up to daily use. If you are buying one of our steel options, you’ll also be signing up for a low-maintenance door, since steel garage doors don’t require regular painting and also hold up better to the elements.

RCS Garage Doors offers a wide variety of wood and steel carriage house garage doors for the Charlotte, N.C., area. If you’re interested in this style of door, we have several designs and styles for homeowners on a range of budgets.

1. Gallery® Collection

The Gallery® Collection incorporates a traditional raised panel steel door with a grooved panel design for the perfect combination of functionality and beauty. When you purchase a door from this collection, it also comes with the option to add wrought-iron hardware and windows. Also available with insulation, these doors come in in a wide range of colors, including Ultra-Grain®, Clopay’s distinctive faux wood finish.

2. Canyon Ridge® Collection — Limited-Edition Series and Ultra-Grain Series

If you’re in the market for garage doors that have a traditional wood look, combined with the durability of steel, Clopay’s Canyon Ridge® Collection is a great option. Constructed with an energy-efficient Intellicore® insulated steel base, these doors look like traditional wooden doors because wood composite cladding overlays the steel base. The Canyon Ridge® Collection’s Ultra-Grain Series offers a more economical option for these doors by providing Stained Clear Cypress composite overlays to give this steel door a traditional wood look.

3. Grand Harbor® Collection

Boasting clean lines and a classic design, Grand Harbor® Collection steel doors are an excellent option for homeowners who appreciate the look of a carriage-style garage door, but need a less expensive choice. Available with or without insulation, these versatile, low-maintenance doors will give you the look you want without breaking the bank.

4. Coachman® Collection

The gorgeous doors of the Coachman® Collection look like authentic wooden doors, but their construction features layers of durable steel covered with a wood composite overlay. Available in a variety of designs — both with and without windows — these gorgeous doors provide all the functionality you need in a garage door you use every day, with the aesthetically pleasing carriage house style.

5. Reserve Collection® — Semi-Custom Series, Limited-Edition Series and Custom Series

We get it. There’s just no replacement for a traditional wood garage door. The Reserve Collection® Limited-Edition Series offers the historical character and charm of handcrafted wood garage doors, all with the modern convenience of overhead door technology. Our Clopay wood carriage-style garage doors come in a variety of woods and stains, offering homeowners plenty of options for customizing their garage door to coordinate with their home’s architectural design and exterior color scheme.

If you opt for a door from the Reserve Collection® Custom Series, we’ll work with you to design the wood garage door of your dreams. We can create a unique design with or without windows, and then you can choose from a selection of woods, including African Mahogany, White Oak, Ironwood, Spanish Cedar or Knotty Alder.

Love the idea of a custom wood garage door, but your budget won’t allow you to design it from scratch? The Reserve Collection® Semi-Custom Series might be exactly the answer you need. Once you choose from one of six design options, you can select the wood you want, as well as choose from finishes that include mahogany, natural oak or cedar.

Which Carriage-Style Garage Door Is Right for You?

Now that you’re familiar with all our options for carriage-style garage doors, you’re probably wondering how you will ever narrow it down. Carriage-style doors are all beautiful — you can’t go wrong with them — but not all of them are going to be a good fit for your home, your lifestyle or your budget. So how do you choose?

1. Wood vs. Steel Carriage House Garage Doors

The first thing to ask yourself is whether you’re in the market for a steel garage door or a wood one. What’s the difference?

Steel doors — available in insulated or non-insulated varieties — are low-maintenance. You won’t need to repaint them every couple of years, and they aren’t going to crack easily. They also hold up well to the elements, although they are susceptible to corrosion in humid coastal climates. Steel doors are also less expensive than their wood counterparts.

What’s the downside to a steel door? Well, they are susceptible to dents. That isn’t a problem for everyone, but if your kids or grandkids tend to ride bikes or play basketball in the driveway, your door may take a beating.

Steel doors have a reputation for their durability and, thanks to modern craftsmanship, they can even look like natural wood. However, sometimes there’s just no substitute for the classic wood garage door. Available in a variety of styles, as well as insulated or not insulated, wood doors are a classy, elegant way to make a statement with your home’s exterior.

However, wood doors require regular maintenance. They’re susceptible to warping and cracking, so you’ll need to paint or refinish them regularly. Upkeep can be a hassle, and it will also cost money to maintain the high-quality finish that attracted you to the door in the first place.

While cost is indeed a deciding factor in choosing a door, it’s important to keep in mind the average garage door lasts 30 years. And, if you’re like a lot of homeowners, your garage door acts as your front door — meaning you will be looking at it all the time. A door needs to do more than fit your budget — it should suit your tastes and lifestyle, too. Before you select a door based on cost, make sure you like its appearance and you’re willing to put in the work to keep it looking nice.

2. Design & Embellishments

Carriage-style garage doors complement a variety of architectural styles. However, when you’re trying to decide which door style is right for you, it’s important to consider the specific designs on the market today. Each of the Clopay series we offer has several design variations that allow you to pick the style that works for you — and your home. Short vs. long panels, various window options, arches, cross-pieces and more — all these details are essential to consider as you’re narrowing down your choices.

Carriage-style garage doors also typically come with the option to add decorative hardware. The carriage house doors of old boasted hinges and handles because the doors had to swing out. While most modern carriage house doors are designed as overhead doors and no longer require you to put the elbow grease into swinging them out, many of our customers prefer to retain the historic look of swing carriage garage doors in their Charlotte, N.C., homes.

3. Cost

As we mentioned earlier, your budget can play a significant role in choosing between a steel or wood garage door. But even after deciding between those two options, affordability will continue to dictate the style and details you will want for your garage door. Our goal is to make sure you don’t put a dent in your savings, but still walk away with a gorgeous garage door you’ll enjoy for years to come. To do this, it’s crucial to always keep your budget in the back of your mind as you’re selecting the right door for you.

Many times, our clients are surprised to realize they can get a beautiful door and stay within their financial means — all it takes is being upfront with our experienced staff about what you need. They can help match your vision and budget with the myriad of design options and add-ons offered in each collection, all designed to make sure you end up with a beautiful garage door.

Contact RCS Garage Doors

With more than 30 years serving the Charlotte, N.C., area, RCS Garage Doors has dedicated our business to offering high-quality Clopay garage doors for residential and commercial use. Our extensive showroom provides the perfect place for our clients to try before they buy — seeing the materials and the beautiful designs we offer. Our full-time, experienced sales staff is always on hand to answer questions and walk you through the process. Our goal is for our clients to walk away convinced they made the right decision — even before they get their new door installed.

Also providing garage door installation and maintenance, we offer the best brands on the market today and a professional staff committed to getting it right every time. If you’re in the market for a new garage door, let us help you pick the one that will take your home from good to great. Contact us today.

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